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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

HISTORY   AND    HUMAN    RELATIONS

respects than a Protestant version of die story (which will
be packed with Protestant evaluations and judgments)
it is richer and more far-reaching in other ways, for it
is calculated to carry the student to higher altitudes
and it can lead him to a further range of discoveries. It
may enable him, for example, to get behind the very
conflict that divides Protestant and Catholic, and learn
why Western Christendom ever came to such a state of
dissension. This, then, is what we mean by " technical
history "—the sort of history which is the subject of a
high and austere academic discipline. It may never
exist in its absolute purity* But its assertions have a
higher authenticity in so far as the ideal is attained.

Men who in centuries long past were firmly con-
vinced that an outbreak of plague was the manifestation
of the handiwork of God would still seem to have been
capable of noting on occasion the observable connections
between events and the operation of intermediate causes.
Those who have believed that a war came as a judgment
from Heaven have still been able to observe and discuss
the activity of the human instruments of the divine
Providence. A natural scientist is pledged to work in
the way Gibbon purported to do; that is to say, he
confines his explanations to the causes that are " under
God ", and he would be committing an act of sabotage
if he brought God into his scientific argument. It
would be wrong to infer that because he submits to this
discipline he is necessarily an unbeliever. The historian
may be convinced that the will of God is in every step
and motion of the drama, every pulse-beat of the
centuries. As a technical student, however, he is under

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